Lalu’s prison release: BJP happy, Nitish plays it cool | india | Hindustan Times
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Lalu’s prison release: BJP happy, Nitish plays it cool

india Updated: Dec 17, 2013 01:26 IST
Anil Kumar

RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s release from jail has brought cheer to the RJD and the BJP camp, while his bête noir chief minister Nitish Kumar appears to be perplexed.

On Monday, addressing the media on the sidelines of his weekly Janata Durbar, Kumar said: “This is a judicial process and not a political event. There are some charges against him in which the court is looking into. What is the rationale for celebrating it?”

Kumar said he had not commented when Prasad was convicted in a fodder scam case.

“I also do not want to comment now, when the Supreme Court has granted him bail.”

Prasad’s imprisonment had left the RJD at a loose end. It was expected that the JD (U) would poach on its leaders and workers and in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the party votebank would be divided between the BJP and the JD (U). His release, naturally, has brought fresh heart to the party.

The BJP is ecstatic for a different reason.

“With Lalu’s release, JD (U)’s design to break his party will not succeed,” said state BJP president Mangal Pandey. “The confused RJD MPs and legislators, who had lost hope in the revival of their party, would now be emboldened and remain intact at least till the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.”

But sidestepping the political ramification of Prasad’s release and the BJP-RJD response, Kumar said he did not have much interest in what his opponents were saying or doing. Instead, he preferred to concentrate on his own work.

“I am sincerely discharging the responsibility entrusted in me by the mandate of 2010. Where do I have the time to address or interest myself in what the opposition is saying?” he said.